Tuesday, November 24, 2009

cookie project #2: traditional shortbread

Willing to embark on my next cookie project, I thought I'd go back to basics and start with the traditional shortbread.
The Recipe
These look more like peanut butter cookies but I didn't want plain round shortbreads so I tried this.

And some cute shaped ones like these =)
They look crumbly but the flavour was better than I expected. Very light and buttery. Mmmmmm....
Here's the recipe:

8 oz/250 g butter at room temperature
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup all-purpose flour

1. Preheat over to 300 F/150 C. Grease a cookie sheet
2. Cream butter and confectioner's sugar until light and fluffy. Sift cornstarch and flour together and add to the creamed mixture. Knead well.
3. Roll out between two sheets of baking paper to 1/3 in/1cm thickness. Cut into squares or use cookie cutters for shape.
3. Bake for 30 mins. or until pale golden. (I only did 18 minutes for my cookies and they came out just as I wanted)

Update: Lately, I've been baking my cookies at 350 F for 11 mins. Try it for shorter baking time =)

Monday, November 23, 2009

toopy and binoo cupcakes

What a crazy weekend! (again!) A friend from work asked if I could take on this endeavour and I thought, hey, I've tried pretty much everything anyone's ever asked me to do so why not? I love fondant modelling but it always make me wish there's more time to do everything else. Here's a picture of my workstation.
To be honest, I'm not sure who Toopy and Binoo were, but I was surprised at how easy I found them online. I guess they must be really popular with kids.
Here's the gang with that creepy looking rag doll thing.
To complete this order, I asked my talented bestfriend to make a matching Toopy and Binoo cake. Here's what she made.
If you like to view her other cakes, here's the link to her facebook page.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

confessions of a beginner cookie maker

First of...the good stuff.
Love, love, love pink and chocolate together! <3

I have a confession to make. As much as I love baking and learning new stuff, I'm actually a very nervous, and quite disastrous cookie maker. Cupcakes -- after experimenting with a couple different recipes, I have managed to learn how to bake with confidence. I could even put them in the oven without an oven thermometer and use my standard time for almost every single type I make. Of course, there will always be off days. Believe it or not, there are some days I get so "off" that I have to stop and think awhile before I can get my butt back to baking. The cupcake pops of last night were proof.

Cookies are an entirely different story. I love them, I've tried making them, and each time, gets more disastrous than the last (true story). The only cookies I have perfected so far are sugar cookies and even that took me a couple of takes to really get the hang of it. And everytime I bake them is not like riding a bike at all. I get nervous everytime worrying that they will not be as perfect as I planned. The good thing is, there are so many recipes and so many more lessons to learn in baking and I am more than ever, up for the challenge.
Today, I start my journey of baking and learning more cookie recipes. The trouble with being a disastrous cookie maker is, I am left with a whole bunch of ruined batches I either feel bad throwing out or feel bad attempting to eat. A is usually stuck being an unwilling cookie taster volunteer.

Project #1: The Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie

Looks promising, huh? Although, any expert cookie maker probably know parchment paper is not necessary for this particular cookie recipe. I didn't bother to take a picture of the after 16 minutes of this batch because I can tell you right now, it wasn't pretty. I had to do the whole thing over and reduce my time to 13 minutes and here's the result.
Not bad, huh? A gave me a star for doing this after two tries =)
Not so cute shaped cookies need nice packaging
I love window boxes!
And more pictures! Sorry, I can't get enough of them =) Doesn't good packaging say, "I care"???
On a lighter note, a birthday suprise for a dear friend cheers me up =)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

food, food and more food =)

What a busy weekend! I had baby shower cupcakes order (pictures below) and still had to do three night shifts in a row! But hey, I survived. Just want to share things I've been doing this week =)
Our lunch: stirfry vegetables with shrimp. Yum!
Turon. Traditionally Filipino spring rolls with banana halves. Look again.
That's right! I used pears =) Cut the pears thinly, sprinkle some sugar and follow the pictures for wrapping instructions =)
This is, of course, deep fried. In medium heat, fry your pear rolls until golden brown.
Tada! They look and taste just like banana turons! No one can tell the difference! Unless of course, you are being particularly picky =P
Try them at home! I'd love to know how yours turned out =)
And last but not the least, the cupcakes of my sleepless weekend =)
Can you tell we were too lazy to take proper pictures?? They're all in cupcake boxes haha. Oh well, there's more to be done this weekend for a birthday party with Toopy and Binoo theme =)

Friday, November 13, 2009

back from LA

Just got back from our LA/Anaheim/Vegas trip. It was so nice being able to spend some time with my sisters. I have tons of pictures to edit but here's a preview.
Thought a lot about holiday cards and here are some of what I've done so far...
These cards will be available at BeadGirl very soon =)

Monday, November 02, 2009

sample wedding invites

Okay, so last post of the day. I've been meaning to take pictures of these sample invites for awhile and since I'm feeling productive, here they are.
The torquoise series. I've been working on some designs for a summer wedding. Here are some of the sample prints.
I love this sparkly paper!
This is from the same pocketfold as our wedding invite. It's not quite finished because I haven't bothered to buy green satin ribbons to finish the edges.
Okay, okay. I can finally sleep! Goodnight!

shiny things...

I gotta say, the craft that started it all, is jewelry making. I think being able to make my own accessories made me think that I could do other things. It opened the door to other possibilities of what ifs and why nots. And I have A's sister to thank for the inspiration. Visit BeadGirl. Anyway, I took a few pictures of stuff I made that were lying around my jewelry box.
I love this champagne swarovski pearl beads. I made a necklace with this too for my mom.
Capiz shell earrings
Bauble ring. These amethyst swarovski beads were actually leftover after I took the cystal tree apart. I love recycling things =)
And to end my somewhat productive day (after half a day of editing!), a treat for A. Homemade palabok
As you can tell, I didn't have enough ingredients in my kitchen so I had to work with what I had. Would have been nice with some boiled eggs but at least I had shrimp and chicharon =)

Thanks August Empress for the cool background!